Minority walks – out, Majority endorses STX loan

The highly contested STX housing deal was on Tuesday adopted despite a walk out staged by the Minority.

The Minority said that the issues raised which they thought would have been addressed at the Joint committee of Finance and Works and Housing after the Speaker suspended proceedings twice to allow the committee to work on the report were ignored.

The loan, Sub-divided into Off-taker Agreement, the Joint Venture Agreement and the Suppliers Credit of US$ 1.525, 443, 468.00 for the construction of 30,000 units were laid separately the same day with separate motions moved for their adoption.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said what the leadership had agreed on had been twisted amounting to a betrayal of trust and a breach of the faith.

He said it was unfortunate that the members of the committee should have been allowed to report instead of being asked to go out and work on the report for an hour before returning for the loan to be laid and moved.

Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said a committee should not be stampeded by the Majority leader or the Speaker.

He said the lenders and suppliers would live to regret adding, “on this note, we will not participate in the debate.”

This was the walk-out call which the members of the Minority heeded as they walked out amidst shouting while the members of the Majority gleefully rushed to occupy some of the deserted seats.

All the Minority members accept Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori left the chamber.

He drew attention of the House to some parts of the document that was not signed adding that an agreement entered into meant that all parties ought to have signed it.

He argued that all the agreements should have been compiled together before it was adopted.

According to Mr. Appiah Ofori, the agreement was a good one but the financial arrangement and documentation should be well scrutinised for posterity sake and in the interest of the nation.

When his plea was not taken to correct the mistakes, he also left.

Mr. Cletus Avoka, Majority Leader, said action speaks louder than words adding, the Minority often said they support a descent transaction and if so why did they not sit down to adopt it.

He explained that he met the Minority Leader together with some Minority members in his (Majority leader’s) office where they discussed the possibility of shifting the issue to Monday.

According to him, walk-outs did not begin today and would not end tomorrow adding, failure to adopt the report would mean that Parliament was disappointing Ghanaians.

The First Deputy Speaker, Doe Edward Adjaho, called for the laying of the papers after which they were moved and adopted.

Mr. Alban Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said it was unfortunate that the Minority walked out.

He said the loan agreement was not rushed through at all because it was laid on May 2010 and re-laid on 28 July 2010.

The Minister said the whole process was transparent as the transactions were open adding, “you see it”.

He said all pieces of information about the loan were given to the Minority, some of whom even came for proposals adding, “whatever you in this world do, you do it for yourself.’’

According the joint committee report, the unit cost of 1 bed apartment is US $12,926.32, two bed apartment, US$ 14,721.91, three bed apartment is  US $ 29,443.81, 3 bedroom bungalow US $ 32, 120.52 and 4 bed bungalow apartment $40,150.66.

The project will also build infrastructure such as Biogas plant, External Lighting, External Markets, Schools, Clinics and Roads.

The House went on recess and may reconvene on October 19, 2010.

Source: GNA

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